Jazz Related Blues

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The blues have had a strong influence on jazz since the very beginning. This is no big surprise since jazz and blues both come from the same African roots. The JR Blues genre at JMA is not meant to be an exhaustive list of every blues artist in the world, we'll leave that formidable task for sites dedicated to the blues.

The JR Blues genre at JMA is for:

1) Artists who play music that is a mix of jazz and blues, such as Jimmy Smith and Robben Ford.

2) Blues artists who were major innovators and trend setters, such as Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, BB King and Muddy Waters.

3) Artists who were particularly creative within the blues genre such as Taj Mahal, Otis Taylor and Peter Green.

jazz related blues top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

JIMMY SMITH Back at the Chicken Shack Album Cover Back at the Chicken Shack
JIMMY SMITH
4.65 | 13 ratings
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ESTHER PHILLIPS The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (aka Release Me!) Album Cover The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (aka Release Me!)
ESTHER PHILLIPS
4.93 | 2 ratings
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KENNY BURRELL Midnight Blue Album Cover Midnight Blue
KENNY BURRELL
4.56 | 10 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH The Cat Album Cover The Cat
JIMMY SMITH
4.50 | 6 ratings
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KING CURTIS Blues At Montreux  ( with Champion Jack Dupree) Album Cover Blues At Montreux ( with Champion Jack Dupree)
KING CURTIS
4.48 | 3 ratings
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DINAH WASHINGTON Dinah Jams Album Cover Dinah Jams
DINAH WASHINGTON
4.50 | 2 ratings
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DINAH WASHINGTON Swingin' Miss Swingin' Miss "D" (aka Queen & Quincy)
DINAH WASHINGTON
4.50 | 2 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH Jimmy And Wes:The Dynamic Duo Album Cover Jimmy And Wes:The Dynamic Duo
JIMMY SMITH
4.34 | 7 ratings
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FRANKIE LAINE Frankie Laine And The Four Lads Album Cover Frankie Laine And The Four Lads
FRANKIE LAINE
4.40 | 2 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH A New Sound, a New Star: At the Organ Vol. 2 Album Cover A New Sound, a New Star: At the Organ Vol. 2
JIMMY SMITH
4.25 | 2 ratings
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OZ NOY Ha! Album Cover Ha!
OZ NOY
4.25 | 2 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH Bashin' The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith Album Cover Bashin' The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith
JIMMY SMITH
4.15 | 4 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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jazz related blues New Releases

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Purple House
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ROBBEN FORD
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Fineprint
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JAMES HARMAN
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No One Ever Tells You
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AMY CERVINI
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The Blues is Alive and Well
Album
BUDDY GUY
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Out of the Blues
Album
BOZ SCAGGS
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The Lead Belly Project
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ADAM NUSSBAUM
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British Blues Explosion Live
Live album
JOE BONAMASSA
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First Take
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GREGOR HILDEN
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The James Cotton Band
Boxset / Compilation
JAMES COTTON
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jazz related blues Music Reviews

BUDDY GUY The Blues is Alive and Well

Album · 2018 · Jazz Related Blues
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Matt
Aged 82 and Buddy Guy still doesn’t seem to be slowing down and neither does his approach to his Blues with some great rocking numbers and a few ballads thrown in for good measure on this latest album. Once again Buddy mentions where he originated from in Louisiana being the town of Lettsworth with him standing under the town’s sign for the cover of this latest release “The Blues Is Alive And Well”. Tom Hambridge is back again for the fifth album contributing the majority of the song writing, drumming and even squeezing in the Production. Not only that, as with all his recent albums of course there are guests included comprising Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, James Bay and Mick Jagger contributing to three of the fifteen tracks inserting quite a nice balance and bringing a bit of variety to the album but keeping the other twelve songs just for Buddy which is what we all want to hear anyway with the majority emanating primarily from what seems like his signature today, that polka dot guitar.

“A Few Good Years” is first up with the guitar opening straight up for this ballad with Buddy singing “a few good years is all I need right now” and when one hits 82 I suppose it is not too much to hope for. I’ve always loved his rockers being precisely what “Guilty As Charged” is with the Blues Pedal on and Buddy ripping out his great jagged chords with one great solo inserted. Buddy’s love of “Cognac” features for the next slowed up number with Jeff Beck and Keith Richards also contributing on guitars and Buddy mentioning both of them during the song for this not to be taken too seriously great tune. The title “The Blues Is Alive And Well” is classic Buddy with horns backing Buddy in this great mid tempo number. James Bay is next with Buddy for the rolling “Blues No More” and the only guest to contribute vocals as with Mick Jagger’s contribution in the later Blues ballad “You Did The Crime” it is harmonica only. I hear David Bowie’s “Fame” for the timing of “Whisky For Sale” with the rest of the album comprising a great mix of Rockers and Ballads following up for the remaining seven songs. Special mention goes for the blistering rocker “Ooh Daddy” and the following “End Of The Line” with Buddy singing “I’m the last one to turn out the lights” in the album’s 2nd last song and he may well be right as the last of the Classic Bluesmen.

Of course he will have another Grammy for his mantelpiece with this Production. Great album not a lot new but it is fabulous Blues with no pretensions.

KENNY BURRELL Midnight Blue

Album · 1963 · Jazz Related Blues
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js
In the early 60s, jazz artists cutting a blues album was not an uncommon thing at all. Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine and others put out some of their most successful albums during this time by applying their be-bop chops to some well known blues changes. In early 1963, when Kenny Burrell approached Blue Note head, Alfred Lion, about cutting a blues album, this propisition probably came as no surprise to Lion who was more than happy to let Kenny in the studio to create his blues masterpiece, “Midnight Blue”. The title of this album tells you everything you need to know, this is definitely late night blues with an emphasis on laid back tempos and soulful solos, as opposed to extroverted blazing technique. The band Kenny assembled on here was perfect for the date, with the aforementioned Stanley Turrentine on tenor, Ray Barretto on congas, Major Holley Jr on bass and the understated Bill English on the traps.

Although all of these tracks could be labeled as laid back blues, there is some variety to keep things from becoming too stodgy or predictable. “Wavy Gravy” is notable for being that rare blues tune in waltz time, while other closing and opening tracks on both sides of this record pick up the tempo into a medium swing groove. “Soul Lament” features Kenny on his own, and “Gee Baby ain’t I Good to You” is the only standard, but it too is essentially a blues song. The best thing about this album is its rock solid integrity, drop the needle anywhere you want and you will get the same feeling, no matter the tempo. This is one very sure artistic vision about the blues from start to finish. Even the instrumentation backs up this album’s cohesion, an added piano player would have made things too cluttered, and a B3 player would have made things syrupy and heavy handed, everything is exactly in its place as it ought to be. The addition of Barretto’s subtle conga work is the icing on the cake, as these sort of slow tempos need a little double time action to help keep the groove together.

Although the current ‘vinyl revival’ seems a bit hokey and fabricated by salesmen, its still nice that you can now buy classic jazz records in pristine condition for an almost reasonable price.

BLIND BLAKE The Rough Guide To Blues Legends: Blind Blake

Boxset / Compilation · 2013 · Jazz Related Blues
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siLLy puPPy
Little is known of the artist known as BLIND BLAKE who was a pioneer blues and ragtime singer / guitarist. Despite little known about his personal life, he was actually quite successful for a short time when he recorded a great deal of music for Paramount Records between 1926 and 1932. Around 80 different songs actually. He was known for his technical wizardry of blending complex finger techniques that included ragtime and blues and considered to be one of the most accomplished guitarists of the era. His trademark sound was that he made his guitar sound like a piano with his lightning fast finger picking talents. Ragtime is notoriously one of the most difficult genres of music to play on the guitar.

Despite BLIND BLAKE’s prolific output in a short period of time, Paramount Records went broke in 1932 and then he disappeared for a while until in 1934 he was hit by a streetcar and finally succumbed to a pulmonary hemorrhage caused by a bad bout with pneumonia a couple years prior thus ending his life and taking all the mysteries with him. Due to the fact he only recorded in the 20s / 30s timeline no albums were released at that time and only various compilations exist that attempt to highlight his prolific canon of finger breaking guitar workouts.

THE ROUGH GUIDE TO BLUES LEGENDS: BLIND BLAKE succeeds in painting a decent representation of BLAKE at his peak ranging from 1926 to 1929 including his first hit “West Coast Blues” and some of his most impressive guitar work on tracks such as “Southern Rag.” “Come On Boys Let’s Do That Messin’ Around” includes one of the first scat solos ever recorded and many of the tracks display his eclectic experimental tendencies which inspired many guitarists to come including Ry Cooder, John Fahey and Leon Redbone amongst others. Even Bob Dylan covered “You Gonna Quit Me Blues” which can be heard here in its original form.

Many World Music Network compilations also contain a second bonus disc and the one included here is titled “The Rough Guide To Ragtime Blues & Hokum.” The hokum was a particular type of American blues music that was almost always humorously employed to incorporate a fair use of euphemisms that made sexual innuendos. This type of music along with ragtime were the musical genres of choice for party situations in African American get-togethers of the day. Since BLIND BLAKE is one of my favorite artists from this period, this compilation is a highly recommended gateway drug into further exploration. If you just can’t get enough there is always the Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order in four volumes from Document Records but this compilation contains most of the more celebrated singles.

MUDDY WATERS Electric Mud

Album · 1968 · Jazz Related Blues
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js
One of the most polarizing blues albums of all time, there is no middle ground when it comes to Muddy Waters’ “Electric Mud”, people either love it or hate it, and either perspective is understandable depending on how you approach it. In 1968, when this album came out, Waters’ album sales were lagging. Meanwhile, artists like Cream and Jimi Hendrix were making big bucks playing music similar to Muddy Waters, only dressed up in the psychedelic garb of the day. Enter some overreaching producers hoping to make Waters more popular with the hippy crowd, and you get this odd album that has Muddy fronting a psychedelic rhythm section borrowed from avant-RnB group, Rotary Connection. With the use of Connection’s musicians, you get one of the best psychedelic guitarists this side of Hendrix himself, Pete Cosey, a man who would eventually go on to join Miles Davis in the mid-70s. Considering Cosey’s presence on here can help determine the best perspective on this album, this may not be Muddy Water’s best vocal performance, but it is a great slice of Cosey’s funky guitar work, a guitarist who was very under-recorded during his often underground career.

The music on here is wild and nasty funk driven blues rock, much more loose than Cream, and more loose than Hendrix’s studio albums too. Think of a cross between early Funkadelic, Sly Stone, Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 and you might get an idea what this throw together band sounds like. Its no wonder long time Waters fans were turned off when they heard this. The album opens unevenly too, with two funk driven numbers that produce rhythms that are at odds with Muddy’s more blues groove oriented vocals, but after these two missteps, the band and Muddy settle down and start working together better in more of a blues-rock context. The cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Lets Spend the Night Together” is a barely recognizable psychedelic monster with Muddy throwing away any lyrics that don’t fit him. Most of the rest of the cuts on “Electric Mud” work well too, with some exceptions. “Tom Cat” is a good jam, but would have been better without the noodling off key soprano saxophone, and the classic “Mannish Boy” loses some of its primal power to a tempo that is a little too fast.

Apparently Muddy Waters didn't care for this album, which is understandable since it really doesn't sound like its his, but it has been said that Hendrix was enthusiastic about it. It was always obvious that Cosey was influenced by Jimi, but its interesting to find out that the influence went the other way too.

ESTHER PHILLIPS The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (aka Release Me!)

Album · 1966 · Jazz Related Blues
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Matt
Esther Phillips hit rock bottom by 1954 at 19 years of age and stayed there till 1962 after leaving Johnny Otis’ band in 1950 . She was known as Little Esther back then and in her first year with Johnny Otis she had a string of hits but as a roller coaster climbs to the top one knows where it is going next and Esther took that ride down at a quite a speed. She left Johnny Otis’s band after the first year and went solo but the hits stopped. She recorded thirty songs with her new record label Federal with only one getting to number eight on the charts. She went back home to Texas and worked clubs and venues locally but drug addiction kept getting in the way and luckily for Esther a young Kenny Rogers saw one of her shows in 1962 and signed her to his brother’s record label, Lenox. She went on to record a Ray Price hit “Release Me” (1963) which was a Country song and made it number one on the R&B charts and number eight on the Pop ones. After a brief hiatus at Lenox Esther signed with Atlantic Records and recorded her first album “And I Love Him” in 1965 which was released in 1966 with a follow up in the same year “Esther Phillips Sings” but she was not finished yet for 1966 when she also released “The Country Side Of Esther Phillips”.

The title explains the album’s theme quite sufficiently and all are given a beautiful Soul injection from Esther with the Anita Kerr sisters providing backing vocals throughout the album’s duration which was recorded down in Nashville for even more Country authenticity. Ray Charles was the ground breaker for these type of integrated albums with his release in 1962 of “Modern Sounds In Country And Western” which today is considered his greatest album by many and “The Country Side Of Esther Phillips” is not far behind for quality. Eleven tracks were included within the album with two Hank Williams’, being “I Can’t Help It” and “Why Should We Try Anymore” and Esther makes them her own with a stunning Soul interpretation of both. “I’d Fight The World” a Hank Cochrane song is given a lovely Soul rendition and for me is one of the top songs included. “Just Out Of Reach” was a Ray Price hit and an album single for Esther, “Be Honest With Me” is simply superb which is a Gene Autry and Fred Rose composition( Hank Williams covered many a, Fred tune). Even an early Charlie Rich “No Headstone on My Grave” with a Blues feel injected is just another album highlight with “After Loving You”, “Am I That Easy To Forget”, “Just Out Of Reach” and also included is a beautiful Soul version of “I've Forgotten More Than I’ll Ever Know About Him”. “Release Me” is a different version to Esther’s 1963 single and for myself it is actually an improvement with more emotion contained within.

“The Country Side Of Esther Phillips” is the female version of Ray’s “Modern Sounds In Country And Western” and could be considered the greatest female take of a Soul/Country album ever recorded. Esther had her own distinct sound with her voice bringing a distinct magic to this album and she sang from her guts with all the necessary emotion placed beautifully within every song. Many say her later Kudu Label material is better due to her hit “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” but for me it is the Atlantic albums with this being her jewel. We lost her far too young, she was only 48 back in 1984. If like myself you love these Country/ Soul albums and find this and Ray Charles enjoyable another good one is Joe Tex’s, “Soul Country” on Atlantic as well.

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